Shot Through Velvet
Obsidian, Feb 1 2011, $6.99
LaceySmithsonian writes her column Crimes and Fashion for the Washington DC based Eye Street Observer. The columnist is a murder magnet (see Grave Apparel, and Armed and Glamorous) so sometimes she writes about a homicide investigation. However murder is the last thing on Lacey’s mind when she attends the Dominion Velvet Plant’s closure due to the imports arriving from China and India.
Everyone is horrified to see a corpse tied to a roll of blue velvet in a vat of dye. The section worker recognizes the victim as part owner Rid Gibbs. Listening to chatter, Lacey learns Gibbs made enemies in his personal life including his wife and at the firm when he cheated people and fired them without cause. To complicate the case, Lacey’s boss is a part owner too. A strip of blue velvet is sent to her boss and at Gibb’s funeral there is a strip in his hand. Lacey visits board member Walt only to find him dead and holding that same blue velvet strip in his hand. The killer targets the publisher while Lacey, knowing the danger she places herself in, targets ending the killer’s reign of terror.
Ellen Byerrum writes a clever, complex and obviously colorful journalist investigative tale that will have readings singing Bobby Vinton’s tune Blue Velvet every time the protagonist trips over a murdered body. With a humorous romantic subplot to enhance the whodunit and filled with action, but character driven by Lacey, fans will enjoy her latest murder investigation.